Flipper Popper

The Flipper fly was first tied in South Africa and is effectively a top-water fly or a popper.  It imitates a wounded baitfish struggling on the surface. It is often used as an attractor with a smaller fritz or small clouser minnow fly behind it.

This fly popper can be fished on the surface or slightly underwater, with an aggressive and erratic retrieve.

It can be tied in different patterns and various ways. The Flipper works similar to that of a popper and can be fished along drop offs, sand banks and structure, but if there is a feeding frenzy, cast this fly just behind all the action and start retrieving it.


  • Hook: Mustad 34007 / S71S SS # 4 – # 2/0 or any other longish shank hook.
  • Thread: 6/0 or 140 UTC White
  • Tail: Bucktail (can be combined with synthetics like Steve Farrar Flash Blend)
  • Abdomen: Closed cell foam
  • Body: Crystal chenille, Body Braid or Flashabou
  • Eyes: Dollâ’s eyes (optional)


  • Hook: Light wire nymph hook for fresh water pattern, #10 – 6/0, and Mustad 34011 long shank stainless steel for salt patterns. The large kingfish patterns can be tied on Trey Combs Gamakatsu.
  • Thread: 3/0, white or colour to match foam. I sometimes use red thread at the front tie-in position to imitate gills.
  • Tail: Calftail in smaller sizes and bucktail in larger sizes. Krystal Flash is added to the tail in colours of your choice.
  • Abdomen: Plaztazote Foam, Etha Foam or packaging foam cut into a rectangular form with a wedge cut into the end at the tail side. The width of the foam for a #10 hook is ± 3mm and 8mm for a 6/0.

Source: Complete Fly Fisherman